Friday, March 19, 2010

But There It Is

This is not my tragedy. He was not my friend. I mean, he was not not my friend, but he was not my friend friend. It's funny how you have to qualify stuff, but there it is. A friend of a friend, somebody I went to some parties with when I was younger. He died. I know that in a way I have no right to say any of this. It does not belong to me: the story, the pain, the why. But there it is. And so I see it in the newspaper and read the same 3 paragraphs over and over. The way his name looks strange in print, the photo. They call him a 37 year old man which I suppose is the truth, but I am looking for something else. Friends of friends I friended on Facebook--what's on your mind? He is.

He is on my mind, too.

Bryan had an MRI and found out he needs to get shoulder surgery for a deep tear in his labrum. In the meantime he must stop all activity--no surfing, no sailing, no smiling--complete with a 6 month recovery. Zoey is fascinated with this news of surgery, and every day there are new questions. How do doctors cut into skin? Will they take out Daddy's skeleton? What color thread do they use? And like any mother not quite sure of the answers I went to the toy store and bought her the game of Operation.

It takes a very steady hand! Slowly I pull the bread basket out of the stomach, the wrench from the ankle. Cavity Sam's nose does not light up and I do not buzz, but only because Zoey has switched off the sound since it scares her. I love this game. Oh, how I wanted it as a child. The neighbors had it and for some reason it seemed exotic, so cool. Like a banana seat bike and those barettes with the braided ribbon that hung down fluttering far. Why did I not just ask for any of this? Games with fictional ailments made of white plastic, a cracked heart on the right side of the chest, 100 points.

(They've changed the game, you know. Instead of a pencil in the arm to indicate writer's cramp Cavity Sam now sports a cell phone in his finger, and the closest thing to his chest is a green rubbery thing the directions call burp bubbles. Where there once was a heart is now gas.)

None of this is related, of course, but there it is. I have been feeling fragile as of late, a little bit hollow; not so much in the sense that there is nothing inside but that there is too much.

I am not a dog person and at one point in this video Edie shits on the floor and then sits on the man's lap, but still, I cried. And there it is.


A Perfect Gray said...

loved that

Robin said...

So sorry about your friend. I think the reason stuff like this gets to us at this age is because no one "our age" is supposed to die now. At least that is the way I feel. And none of our friends' parents are supposed to die now either. Because that means we have grown up.

This is a beautifully written post. Hope Bryan's surgery goes well and the recovery is smooth. Six months is a long time for no sailing etc., especially with spring & summer on our doorstep.

sherri said...

couldn't watch video, feeling a bit fragile here, too. are you kidding about the cell phone in the new operation? it always sucks to hear someone dies, esp. if you knew them. brings our own mortality and those of our family's a little closer. ok, here's my fave joke to cheer you up. did youhear about the corduroy pillow? it's making headlines!

Still Life With Coffee said...

I absolutely love this sentence...

"I have been feeling fragile as of late, a little bit hollow; not so much in the sense that there is nothing inside but that there is too much."

Beautiful writing as always.

krista said...

yeah, i'm not gonna watch that video. too much.
my boss at work was saying she feels like she reached a milestone because she's the same age as the president. we paused. "it's weird, right? to be that age?" she said. "yes," i agreed.
"next milestone will be when the president is younger than me."
so strange to think that's where we're headed.
i'm not making any sense, am i?
and if the doctor prescribes no smiling for six months, stab him with a pencil.

Anita Davis said...

why isn't the heart there anymore? that makes me sad...
so sorry for your loss.

Anonymous said...

I'm very sorry about your friend. It's times like these that we find ourselves evaluating so many things.

And thank you for posting the very sweet and moving video. We recently rescued a dog and I have overwhelming emotions about animals who have been abandoned for one reason or another. All Edie needed was a hug - my God, could that message save millions of lives in this world.

Pooch said...

I finally came out of hiding as I've been lurking for months! It's the animal lover in me (and of course your awesome writing), I'm so glad I watched that video because I often shy away from them because they make me so sad. Glad this one had a wonderful outcome.

Sorry to hear about the loss of your friend, I think Robin summed it up best: no one "our age" is supposed to die now. And none of our friends' parents are supposed to die now either. Because that means we have grown up. So true...

On a cheery note you've inspired me to go out and buy Operation for Lorenza. I too loved that game, and am sad to hear Cavity Sam had a makeover. Perhaps I can find a vintage Opertaion game online somewhere.

Hope Brian recovers quickly!

Simply Mel said...

fragile is reminds me to go slower, listen intently, and hold those we love closer.

Duel Living said...

Damn you for making me cry. It's always the animals that do it. The idea of a voiceless heart...scared, terrified, afraid...just cracks my own heart wide open. Lump in the throat kinda stuff here.

Sorry to hear that you are in the "thick". I hope smiles are in your future.


erica@ moth design+luxe life said...

I'm sorry about your friend, truly. Sometimes we need reminders to cherish what we have and love.
I loved the banana seat bike too but never had one. I also wanted an easy bake oven... this Christmas Santa brought me one. My boys watched; incredulous as I opened it. The cookies kind of suck but man it's fun to finally have one. xo

來吧 said...

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y•lime said...

Your writing is so beautifully real it makes my heart crack open every post, crack open into a smile even when you talk about fear or sadness. I've been reading for awhile but I'm not a huge bloggie, commenter kind of girl. I'm sorry about your friend, death, no matter how far away is so painfully grounding. Just wanted to say thanks for sharing your thoughts online, it's nice to know there are real people out there who do more than just post and re-post flickr pictures and other peoples work or write what could easily be an answer to "dear abby" to questions I didn't ask to a complete stranger. I so look forward to seeing (1) next to Petunia Face in my google reader, so thank you.

Your Ill-fitting Overcoat said...

"I have been feeling fragile as of late, a little bit hollow; not so much in the sense that there is nothing inside but that there is too much."

This is it exactly. Thank you.

R said...

Here's hoping we all have someone to hold us when the world is so scary we shit ourselves.